A trip to a local cricket match almost turned deadly for Corangamite Shire councillor Simon Illingworth recently.
His son and daughter, along with his son's friend were in the car when he came around a sweeping bend to find a hire car had veered into his lane. "It was packed full of people and was about half way across our side of the road," Cr Illingworth said.
He had to slam on the brakes and swerve to avoid having a head-on collision with the vehicle.
Cr Illingworth said he believed his driving training as a police officer helped him avoid a serious accident. "It was frightening," he said. "It was lucky I wasn't going very fast."
Cr Illingworth said the incident occurred on the Cobden- Port Campbell Road between Timboon and Port Campbell when the incident occurred. He said an increasing number of locals were choosing to avoid roads used by visitors to the Great Ocean Road out of fear.
"I'm aware of a number of locals who avoid these roads during high tourist times," Cr Illingworth said.
He said he was sick of inaction on the issue, which had become a problem in other areas of Australia as a growing number of international visitors get behind the wheel of a hire car.
Cr Illingworth said tourism bodies needed to stop marketing the Great Ocean Road as an attraction that had to be driven along to be enjoyed. "It's a challenging road even for a good driver," Cr Illingworth said. "The Great Ocean Road doesn't need to be driven for someone to enjoy it."
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